Cheddar Cheese Sticks

My wife is working on her PhD. She’s been researching, thinking, collecting, sampling, measuring, and writing for several years now. We are in the home stretch. Seriously. But it doesn’t feel like that to her. To my wife, she’s miles away from the end. And no wonder.

The whole process is miserable and demoralizing. By its very nature, a PhD requires you to answer a question that no one else in the world has answered. That means no one can really tell you if you are right, or what’s next. You are meant to advance science. But the process is brutal. You write about what you did and also what you didn’t do, what you did wrong, and what others can/should do different or better than you. No wonder she’s questioning her intellect. Why didn’t I do it this way from the start? So, it stands to reason that my wife is umm … stressed.

I know it. I see it. But, this morning brought a new level of understanding. I was feeling frisky. Very frisky. My wife, not so much. She basically said “fine.” What a turn on, right? I joked that maybe she shouldn’t talk, to which she wryly responded a moment later by suggesting we go over our shopping list. We laughed and then in a sultry voice she cooed, “Cheddar cheese sticks…”

We began to giggle. Then more robustly. Soon, she was laughing so hard she was crying. Then she was only crying. And apologizing. Poor baby. I held her until she was all cried out. Afterwards, we both felt better – more connected, comforted, though not quite satisfied. I’ll never understand the level of her stress, but I can understand the emotions that I see. My job now is to build her up. To tell her that the questions she’s asking herself about her work don’t apply to her – not to her intellect, her worth, or her self.

It’s Butch to build up your partner – PhD or not. Be Butch.

1 thought on “Cheddar Cheese Sticks

  1. My wife carried our 2m old and she just started back up work part time, im the bread winner of the family, she stresses over weird stuff to me, like this morning, I didnt sleep well last night so I was extremely tired this morning while wifey got ready for work, I slept, she works 4 block from home in a small town, she tries bribing me 😉 to take her to work this morning, I said no not today, 5 min later she is bawling….woke me up, I’m holding her asking her why she is crying, she says its stupid, I coax her and the 700th thing she rattles off was she didnt want to walk to work…it was everything in front of that that got me, somebody somewhere aapparently told her she was a bad mom because she was producing enough extra milk, I calmed that one down (and I really want to punch someone) and she rattle off house stuff, laundry pileing up, dogs need this, kitchen needs that etc, I dont stress about stuff like that, I told her not to worry about it and get ready for work ill take her, started laundry, picked up the kitchen and then I put pants on and my boots, that was it. Although I was wearing an undershirt, I didnt do my hair or anything, wife laughed, noticed what I did, huge sexy hug, love yous and out the door we went. As I am writing this, im hoping my daughter stays sleeping long enough that I can get a nap in before I have to go to work

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